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Articles

You Sing I Write Featured On Medium

It’s always strange to be on the other side of an interview. I’m so used to interviewing people, when the tables are turned it’s a little unsettling! I’m super grateful to Donna Block at Medium for wanting to highlight me and my journey into country music earlier this year. You can read the full feature at Medium and I’ve included an excerpt below.

Growing up in Jersey. Which artists and songs were your favorites to listen to?

I grew up on oldies and pop music. I remember loving Elvis Presley and the Beatles as a kid since my parents were always tuned into New York station WCBS-FM 101.1. It was around the seventh grade when I discovered other music existed and quickly fell in love with the Backstreet Boys and every other boy band that existed at the time. From that I started listening to more singer-songwriters like John MayerJason Mraz and bands like Switchfoot. I eventually had a punk/rock phase and loved acts like the All-American RejectsGood Charlotte and later Jersey’s own the Gaslight Anthem.

Country music. How did you decide to become a journalist in the industry?

When I started my blog in 2007 I was mostly covering indie, rock and pop artists. It wasn’t until I attended the 2009 CMA Fest in Nashville with some friends that my passion for country music began. I covered the festival for Marie Claire, and attended my first press conference. Darius Rucker was the first artist to come through and I didn’t realize how aggressive you had to be to get your question in. As other journalists yelled to get their questions answered, I sat there with my hand raised. The last question was asked and Darius was being ushered off the stage by his publicist, but then he stopped and looked right at me. He said, “You have been so patient this whole time. What is your question?” I fell in love with country music in that very moment and dreamed of moving to Nashville ever since.

Brett Eldredge took time off to put together his upcoming project. You said he shared how the song “Where the Heart Is” is the mission statement for the album. How has the song helped you get through these tough times?

At a time like a pandemic with so much job loss, you start to question your purpose in life. Brett’s song couldn’t have been released at a more perfect moment for me. My dream since high school was to be a music journalist and to work at a music magazine, and in a way my job defined who I was. His song is a reminder to find where your heart is and keep chasing that dream no matter the obstacles.

Music heals. What message do you want to share with artists and fans alike as we move towards our new normal?

I think the fact that so many artists are still releasing new music throughout the pandemic is so inspiring. So many of us are trying to stay positive in the midst of so much uncertainty and knowing that a new album is dropping from your favorite artist or band is something to look forward to. The country community hasn’t slowed down one bit on releases and for that I’m so grateful! As long as we have music, I’d like to think everything is going to be OK.

For more of my interview, visit Medium.

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Features First Person

You Sing I Write Celebrates Seven Years

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It’s incredible to me that seven years ago I started You Sing I Write with a dream to cover concerts and interview bands. It was a very lofty goal at the time but one I was so sure of, more than anything else in my life at the time. Getting to where I am today was a long journey, full of highs and lows. I definitely hit rock bottom too. Living in Brooklyn with a dwindling savings account and no steady paycheck, the freelance life was hard. But it’s those difficult times that test you and for me, there was no plan B. Music journalism was it. I refused to settle for a boring corporate job that I dreaded waking up every day for.

Years later, I came to learn that family members and friends often questioned my path and wondered when I’d give up this crazy dream for a “real job.” Today, though they marvel at my persistence and determination to make this career work. I’ve been asked for career and freelance advice a lot recently and it always surprises me that people want to know my story.

For me, music was always a major passion, as was writing. From the first time I covered a concert (Gavin DeGraw at Rutgers University for The Daily Targum), I was hooked. It was as if a light bulb went off. I remember standing in the front row of the show, notebook and pen in one hand and camera in the other and it clicked: if I could do this for the rest of my life, I would. From there it was countless internships at Jane Magazine, MTV News and Rolling Stone. While interning and freelancing for free was definitely not easy, along the way there were signs I was headed in the right direction. An internship turned into paid work, a simple blog post turned into more review requests. And the more people I met in the industry, the more contacts I gained and the opportunities started lining up.

Hanson

Seven years ago, I never imagined I’d have a byline in Rolling Stone, Billboard, MTV News, AOL or Marie Claire but somehow it happened. And then, after a trip with some friends to Nashville for CMA Fest this boy band loving girl (that’s Hanson above, fyi), turned into a country fan. Who would have thought?

I eventually landed my first full-time gig at CBS Local back in 2012 and things felt like they finally were falling into place. It was a job where I actually got to write every day for a living. While I had always dreamed this was a possibility, I was starting to have my doubts. The gig has allowed me to meet some of my favorite artists and to sit down and have in-depth chats with them about their music, life and songwriting. Truly a dream come true, this little blog helped me get to where I am today.

Darius Rucker

The past seven years came full circle this year when I got to sit down with Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys (my childhood obsession) as well as Darius Rucker, who really made me fall in love with country music. Hearing the stories behind their songs and realizing that they are just regular people is always refreshing. I’m not sure who else this field will bring me into contact with, but I have a feeling the next seven years will bring even more moments to write about. And hey, who knows, maybe all these adventures will make their way into a book one day.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey over the past seven years. Here’s to many more years ahead!

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Features News

Celebrate 5 Years of You Sing I Write Saturday!

This month You Sing I Write turns 5-years-old! I’ve come a long way from writing about bands in my dorm room at Rutgers and couldn’t be happier. To celebrate, this year I have an amazing line-up with some of my favorite New York bands that I’ve covered in the past for YSIW including Mary Bragg and The Ramblers.

The venue itself is W.i.P., the place where Chris Brown and Drake had their infamous fight a few months back. While we won’t be throwing bottles, I can promise you a fun time with solid music. And who knows, maybe a celebrity spotting or two?

Come join me Saturday in New York at 7 p.m. All the details are below and feel free to RSVP on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

 

Categories
Features

You Sing I Write Celebrates 5 Years!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since I wrote my first blog post for You Sing I Write. Started simply as a creative outlet to keep up my writing after graduation, it’s helped lead to numerous freelance gigs at dream publications like Rolling Stone and Billboard as well as land a full-time gig at CBS writing about music every day. I couldn’t be happier, but it was no doubt a long and arduous journey.

This past week CMJ was back in town and hundreds of music fans and bands descended on the city to catch live music and attend music industry related panels giving advice of how to make it in the business. I attended one on music journalism and knew each of the panelists having worked with or met all at one point over the past 5 years. Each had insightful things to say about working in the industry but I couldn’t help but feel a little depressed afterward. The fact of the matter is the business has changed dramatically over the years.

When I first started it was the dream to live vicariously through Almost Famous and go on tour with bands. Unfortunately that rarely happens anymore Caryn Ganz, Editor In Chief of SPIN said. Another panelist, Jessica Robertson of MTV Hive, said she spends 90% of her time in business meetings and the other 10% in creative meetings.

If I was a college student hearing this I would have been discouraged, but at the same time my “prove ’em wrong” mentality would have kicked in. So, my advice: if you’re passionate about something you’ll find a way to succeed. It won’t be easy but I’m living proof that it’s possible.

Growing up a pop music junky I never would have dreamed I’d be interviewing boy bands and some of the biggest pop stars heard on the radio. Through my blog and freelance gigs I also discovered my love of country music and after suggestions from friends even started a country blog. Along the way I’ve met and interviewed some of my favorites including John Mayer (!!!), Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker and Switchfoot. Not to mention toured with a band and witnessed some amazing live shows.

I’m not quite sure what the next 5 years will bring but if it’s anything like the past 5 have been they will be nothing short of interesting. Thanks for supporting me over the past 5 years. Here’s to 5 more!

Come celebrate 5 years of You Sing I Write at W.i.P. in New York on November 3rd. The night will include performances from some of my favorite acts I’ve covered over the years including Mary Bragg and The Ramblers. Stay tuned for more details!

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Benefit News

YSIW Three Year Anniversary Show 2 Weeks Away!


Flier design by Wendy Hu

Just wanted to post a friendly reminder of my three year blog anniversary/site relaunch concert on November 12th at Southpaw in Brooklyn! Wendy sent me an amazing flier that I plan to start posting around Brooklyn, so feel free to grab it and do the same.

Since it’s just two weeks away, I’m taking a hiatus updating the blog in order to make sure all the content is ready. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for my up-to-the-minute adventures.

With a solid mix of hip-hop, folk, rock and pop artists, November 12th proves to be a fun night of music. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook. Complete details are below.

Friday, November 12th at Southpaw, Brooklyn (125 5th Ave)
The N Result / Alexa Wilkinson / Tor Miller Band / Whale Belly
18+ w/ ID
admission: $10
door time: 8PM
A portion of the ticket sales will go to the American Cancer Society in memory of Silvia DeAngelis.

Hope to see you there!

Related Links:
I’m Not A Groupie: A Music Lover’s Tale of Getting That Interview
YSIW Celebrates Two Years!
I’m With the Band
Top 10 Interviews

Categories
Benefit News

YSIW Celebrates Three Years –Thank You!

Interview with Martina McBride, CMA Festival 2009

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

It’s hard to believe that three years ago today I wrote my very first blog post! Fresh out of college in a non-writing related job, I yearned for a creative outlet and my former MTV colleagues suggested I start a music blog. I’m so glad I did.

Interview with Vince Scheuerman of Army of Me, Union Hall 2007

Hundreds of shows and interviews later, I can’t imagine a day without posting a review, feature, or Q&A.; Along the way I’ve interviewed some of my favorite musicians, had my share of exclusive content and a few starstruck moments. Whether it was chatting with Pat Benatar on the phone, stumping Lady Antebellum on a few questions or struggling with a lost voice and fever while interviewing Better Than Ezra, I’m still in disbelief that this is my life.


Interview with Fergie, Zootopia 2009

Thank you so much for keeping up with You Sing I Write over the past three years! There’s nothing I love more than reading your comments, questions for artists, and show recommendations. You’re the reason I continually update the site. I have many exciting things lined up in the next few weeks with my site redesign and video interviews — can’t wait for you to see! I’d love to meet you all at my big bash at Southpaw November 12. Make sure you come and say hi!

Related Links:
I’m Not A Groupie: A Music Lover’s Tale of Getting That Interview
YSIW Celebrates Two Years!
I’m With the Band
Top 10 Interviews

Categories
Festivals News

Join YSIW for CMJ Thursday Night in Williamsburg!

I’m psyched to be hosting my first CMJ party next Thursday night in Williamsburg! The show will feature performances by two of my favorite New York bands including The Ramblers, The Canon Logic and Los Angeles based Nightmare and The Cat.

Free shirts from CPHARRIK, and all kinds of delicious food from YIEatN will also be provided. The show starts at 10pm and all are welcome, but space is limited so make sure you RSVP. Come say hi if you do stop by!

Complete details below:
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Food: 7:30pm, Show: 10pm
132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY
RSVP: mission2cmj@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Categories
News

Save the Date: YSIW’s 3-Year Anniversary Bash November 12

I am beyond excited to announce that my site redesign will be complete next month! Wendy Hu (photographer and designer extraordinaire), Joel Brower (programmer guru) and I are working hard to migrate all the content and have the site fully functioning for my 3-year celebration November 12th at Southpaw in Brooklyn.

Since it’s just under a month away, I’ll be posting less frequently in order to make sure all the content is ready so follow me on Twitter for my up-to-the-minute adventures. With that said, feel free to read through past interviews (on the right sidebar) and I’ll be back from time to time because I can’t stop writing altogether!

I can’t wait for my big bash November 12th. I’ve been putting together shows for the past two years, but this year is by far the most diverse lineup and showcases bands you NEED to know! We have a solid mix of hip-hop, folk, rock and pop artists that I really think you’ll dig. Stay tuned for the official flier and for more info, check out the bands who will be playing below!

Friday, November 12th at Southpaw, Brooklyn (125 5th Ave)
The N Result / Alexa Wilkinson / Tor Miller Band / Whale Belly
18+ w/ ID
admission: $10
door time: 8PM
A portion of the ticket sales will go to the American Cancer Society

Watch Tor Miller Band perform a cover of Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” at last year’s bash below. Maybe I can make another request for it this year. What do you think? Hope to see you November 12th!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J594jHHttKk]

Categories
News

You Sing I Write Wins Music Award!

I received an email last week informing me that You Sing I Write won a Web Excellency Award from Theater Seat Store!

When checking out the site for myself, they write:

“Sometimes it seems that everyone has an opinion about music. This award goes to those blogs who’s opinions matter.”

The site went on to explain their process of choosing the blogs that stand out for music coverage.

“The team has once again composed a list of the best blogs in music, this time focussing on the heavily-stamped ground of music reviews. We provide the unique sites below in one simple location for your review and enjoyment, while at the same time using the opportunity to award each for their fine writing skills and services to the sprawling world of music and, of course, the dear reader.

The amount of music review blogs out there is staggering to say the least – from professional publications to personal journals, we focussed not on the size of the operation (or indeed the subsequent output) when choosing our award winners but on the sheer quality of content on offer. This will be manifestly apparent to anyone who takes the time to read them.”

Thanks for all your support over the years! Mark your calendars for a special 3-year anniversary blog bash November 12th in Brooklyn. More details to come! To check out the other blog winners, visit Theater Seat Store.

Categories
News

Join YSIW and The Ramblers Next Sunday in Brooklyn!

I can hardly believe it’s been a month since I moved to Brooklyn. While I’ve been exploring all the venues in the area and attending numerous shows in cool locations like rooftops and friends’ backyards, I thought, “Why not host my own backyard concert with my roommates?” So, instead of the typical housewarming party, my roommates and I are planning a show at our friend’s backyard in Park Slope next Sunday.

Won’t you join us?

Brooklyn-based band The Ramblers will bring their soulful Americana for a set you won’t want to miss. They’ll be performing the night before at Mercury Lounge, so if you’re in the area definitely check them out there and come to our soiree the next day for a scaled down, acoustic set. The Ramblers have been compared to The Band and like to refer to themselves as a mix of Jim Croce backed with Booker T. & the M.G.’s. With rave reviews by numerous music publications, they will surely impress.

Be sure to listen to The Ramblers on MySpace and to RSVP for the location of our backyard concert E-mail me. Hope to see you Sunday!

Related Links:
Q&A; with The Ramblers
Band of the Week: The Ramblers
The Show Goes On…Despite Blizzard
The Ramblers Showcase New Tunes at Joe’s Pub